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Express UK / Life - Entertain

Kiri: Is the Channel 4 drama based on a true story?

KIRI is Channel 4’s thrilling four-part drama which started in the new year. The show was penned by Harry Potter and the Cursed Child writer Jack Thorne, who has revealed his real-life inspiration for the story.


Is Kiri real?

Channel 4 drama Kiri started on January 10 and had been keeping audiences captivated with its hard-hitting storylines.

The four-part miniseries will conclude tonight (Wednesday, January 31) at 9pm on Channel 4.

Kiri focuses on Bristol-based social worker Miriam Grayson (played by Sarah Lancashire) and her vilification by the press after a black schoolgirl (Felicia Mukasa) in her care goes missing.

She is kidnapped during an unsupervised visit with her grandparents which was organised by Miriam.

Kiri is later found dead following a frantic search by the police and the local community.

What follows is a media witch hunt against the social worker as somebody has to take the blame. 

Kiri is a fictional story inspired by creator Jack Thorne’s mother and her job as a carer.

WHO STARS IN NEW CHANNEL 4 DRAMA KIRI?

When asked why he wanted to write about children in the social care system, Jack simply said: “Because of my mum.”

The This Is England screenwriter added: “She worked with adults with learning difficulties. 

“The issues are sort of the same – the idea of being responsible for someone that is vulnerable, and making decisions on their behalf, and being responsible for those decisions. So I grew up hearing lots of stories about the different things that were going on at my mum’s work. 

“She worked in a day centre for a bit, and in residential care for a bit. Just hearing different stories about what was going on it always intrigued me.”

WHERE IS KIRI FILMED?

Channel 4

Sarah Lancashire plays social worker Miriam and Felicia Mukasa plays Kiri

What is Kiri based on?

The tragic drama of a missing girl and the struggle to find her amid tough questions about race is based on the writer’s mother's experiences of working with adults in the social care system in the UK.

To research ahead of writing the screenplay, Thorne said he spoke to a real social worker and police advisor.

“The social worker not only talked through the facts, and how Miriam’s life would be, but also talked through the philosophy behind the profession, and helped us find the philosophical position for the show.”

He added: “We started talking about social work, and because my mum was in the caring profession, it seemed very interesting. 

“We talked about the news stories you hear about, relating to kids in the system. We wanted to find a way of looking at that, and then it grew from there.”

HOW MANY EPISODES ARE THERE OF KIRI?

Channel 4

Searching for Kiri

When does Kiri start on Channel 4?

Kiri started on Channel 4 on January 10 and continues tonight (Wednesday, January 24) at 9pm.

It will also be available to stream on Hulu. 

The main character, Miriam, is played by Happy Valley star Sarah Lancashire, who says she was immediately drawn to the script.

“I was so excited when I received this piece,” she said. 

“I thought Miriam was fantastic when I read her. She kind of got under my skin very quickly.“

Kiri starts tomorrow on Channel 4 at 9pm.

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